Change from the Inside Out

by Ali Smith

I was once stuck, not physically but mentally and emotionally stuck.  It felt blah and just plain uncomfortable to be stuck. Have you ever felt this way? I know I have. There was a time when I didn’t like reading as it was a struggle for me. Completing this task for school was something I trudged through and for pleasure was rather non-existent.  The interest was a fire that just couldn’t be lit. Eventually, I realized, I was stuck and living with the past belief and viewpoint of myself, that I was neither good at this task nor did I enjoy it. My past experiences were directly affecting my day-to-day opinions of myself and were limiting to me. Only later did I realize I had given permission for this fact to define who I was. I was stuck! Stuck in a state of mind that was holding me back and it needed to go!

Progress can be challenging when attempted in our own strength, and for me often resulted in shortcomings. When we are seeking God, and are dependent on him, we can pull strength through Him. Strength for endurance, persistence, guidance and ultimately giving the glory back to God. Whichever words you associate with the theme of moving forward, be it change, growth or progress, I pray that you can see God working in your situation. I have felt immense humbling and gratitude at these times.  Just as I have in hearing the specific words of scripture at the precise time it was needed. God’s word can change us from the inside out, freeing us from past places, experiences or beliefs we may once have been stuck.

So here I was stuck in a state of mind that was holding me back, and then my mindset began to shift. Looking at this area as an opportunity for growth. If I wasn’t great at it in the past, why not practice, seeing if it came easier later in life. I was not searching for perfection, only an attempt at retrying something that was once hard and unappealing to me, yet most people seemed to enjoy.

I mention this dislike for reading in my younger years, to illustrate how God can move in our lives. He can take anything, a past hurt, a scripture verse or a stuck mindset and use it to bring glory to himself. He is the reason our Godly desires are fanned into a flame! My non-existent desire to read anything, was turned into a desire to read and study His word.

A change from the inside out, of which I can only attribute to God. He can and does use all things to bring glory unto himself and is worthy of our praise.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! Psalm 111:10

Mike Kocik